What is Dawn Phenomenon – Symptoms and Treatment
Diabetic patients experience several bodily changes owing to the disease. There are several aspects of the autoimmune disorder diabetes yet to be understood, including the origin of the disease. One such less understood diabetic phenomenon is the Dawn phenomenon.
It involves abnormal raise in the early hours fasting blood sugar levels. Diabetic people mostly have to deal with this phenomenon around the awkward times of 2 A.M.-8 A.M. in the morning.
Awareness about the signs and treatment of this less known aspect of diabetes can prove handy to the diabetic people and their loved ones in dealing with the condition. This article tries to gain further insight on the topic.
Dawn Phenomenon Symptoms: Though this phenomenon is different from the hyperglycemia condition, its signs mimic that of the latter one. A complete list of these signs to watch out for are:
- Frequent hunger
- Frequent thirst
- Frequent urination
- Blurred vision
- Weight loss
- Dry mouth
- Poor wound healing
- Tingling in the feet and heels
- Dry or itchy skin
- External ear infection
- Infection in the vagina
- Abnormal electrical activity in the heart making it beat either too fast or too slow
The above mentioned signs become apparent in varying degrees in people. The rise of the blood sugar level in health dawn phenomenon is only around 30-50 mg/dL. Owing to this reason, the severity of these signs is not much in this condition.
The best way to diagnose the signs of this phenomenon is to check the fasting blood glucose level between 2 A.M.-3 A.M. in the morning. It is during this phase, that a person suffering from this condition experiences rise in the blood sugar levels in the body.
Dawn Phenomenon Treatment:
- Elimination of evening snack
- Intake of carbohydrate food at bedtime be avoided
- Taking an intermediate dose of insulin at bedtime
- A probable rise in the dosage of insulin to enhance the effectiveness
- Not eating before bedtime and maintain a time gap between taking dinner and going to the bed
- Taking insulin dosage exactly as prescribed
- Random checking of fasting glucose levels between 3 A.M.-7 A.M. to monitor this phenomenon
- Maintaining a balanced diet
- Following a regular exercise regime
- Reporting any abnormal raise in the blood glucose level immediately to the family physician
Researchers believe that release of growth signalling molecules or hormones like cortisol, glucagon and epinephrine overnight, cause release of glucose by liver and insulin resistance. Such developments lead to raise in the blood sugar levels in the body by the morning. This theory is yet to be proved.